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"Call of the Wild" on Animal Planet

Something Wild

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The Animal Planet cable channel will tackle its first-ever prime-time original fictional series with "Call of the Wild," based on Jack London's book of the same name.

The series will kick off with a two-hour movie on Friday, March 31 (8-10 p.m.). Filmed in British Columbia and starring Shane Meier as 15-year-old Miles Challenger, the series will focus on the adventure and danger of life during the Alaskan gold rush. The first hour-long program will debut April 1 at 9 p.m., then the series will settle into its regular slot — Monday nights at 9 — for the remainder of its 13-part run.

Nick Mancuso plays Miles' stepfather and Rachel Hayward co-stars as Miles' mother. Kavic, a 4-year-old Malamute and timber-wolf mix who weighs 140 pounds, will play Buck, the famed canine hero of the story, who shares an intimate bond with Miles.

Meier, a Canadian, played Clint Eastwood's son in "The Unforgiven" and has had a recurring role in the Chuck Norris TV series, "Walker, Texas Ranger."

Episodes of the series will repeat on Saturday nights at 8 p.m.

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